Recently a post on Harvard Business Review was brought to my attention. Dan Zarrella claims to have spent months creating a formula which accurately measures the value of a like on Facebook. So, has Mr. Zarrella discovered the Holy Grail of Facebook ROI, or is this measurement a dud? Let’s take a closer look. You can find the formula over at HBR, and there’s also a calculator you can just plug your numbers in at valueofalike.com

It’s natural to want to put an inherent value on a like, because it’s the most common interaction we encounter on Facebook. However, does a like really have any inherent value in and of itself? I know that social media can be measured, and that it should be measured. I spend quite a bit of time measuring it, actually. However, I believe in measuring smarter, not harder. There are so many metrics available to us on Facebook, we can’t measure them all, and we certainly don’t want to spend our valuable time measuring junk that isn’t important to us, doesn’t align with our goals, or that we’re not interested in influencing. So, should we bother with measuring the value of a like, and if so, is this formula the key?

  1. I’ll say it again, a like is the most common interaction. It has a low barrier to engage. Compare this with other types of engagement. To leave a (meaningful) comment, you must first click-through to a link, read the text of the post, or read other comments before you contribute. To share, you must feel something is valuable or interesting enough to want to share it with others. To like something, you don’t really have to do anything but click a button. I like friends statuses when something good happens to them, I might like certain things that I see from brands, but after I like those things, I usually don’t give it another thought. Unless that was a promoted post I just liked, my friends aren’t going to hear about it on Facebook. Just because I like a status from a brand today doesn’t mean that I’ll buy from that brand today, or for the rest of the year, or ever for that matter.
  2. What is the use in measuring the value of the like, when you don’t understand the value of the more useful comment or share? Or if you don’t have a measurement for the relationship between explosive viral spread from shares naturally increasing the number of likes. And then what are you measuring, the value of a like, the value of exponential viral spread, the value of a share? One (deeply flawed) measurement of only one of the ways people engage with your brand is pretty meaningless if there is no comparison with the other types of engagement.
  3.  This formula is positioned as “The value of a like.” It certainly provides a value, but it’s not the value of a like.This is a problem. The formula takes a very specific goal (increasing conversions by driving traffic from Facebook to an e-commerce store), and presents it as “the value of a like.” That’s such a broad value for such a specific little formula which only applies to one way you could use your social properties. The formula provides you with something, but what you’re given is not what you were promised.
    • On a side note, if you’d like to use Facebook to make hard sells and drive traffic to an e-commerce site as your primary goal, you can make that a business goal and use the available metrics to track your success. In this case you may find some use for this formula. However, a word of caution, people do not come to Facebook to be advertised to, so if you’re planning on always leading with the hard sell, well then at least this formula will have you looking at your churn each week. ;)

There is a right way and a wrong way to measure the ROI of Social Media. Setting goals that are valuable to your business and using the available metrics to understand how well you are achieving those goals and using that data to work out how you can do better is the right way. Creating complicated formulas that don’t account for many important factors, and are only valuable if your fan page is used primarily to drive traffic to an e-commerce site (not exactly a best practice), to measure the value of the lowest common denominator of interaction on Facebook and assign it an arbitrary “value” is the wrong way.

So, if this isn’t how you should measure the value of a like, then what is?

The value of a like is in understanding what type of content resonates well with your Facebook community. It’s a useful measurement for that, because people usually “like” the things they truly enjoy. However, it’s important to keep in mind that just because a fan liked your post doesn’t necessarily mean that person cares about your attached link, or is going to participate in your promotional sale. The number of likes can be influenced by something as simple as the quality and type of photo attached to the very same post. You can post the same copy with two different photos, and one will perform better if that photo resonates better.

In my mind, likes are the most “valuable” when they’re in their extremes. If a post receives far below the average number of likes your brand typically receives, then something is obviously wrong. Did you time your post poorly? Is there a problem with your reach? Is there something about your content that just didn’t resonate or even just pissed off your fans? These are valuable questions that having below average likes would posit , which will lead to valuable answers for your community, so in that way, a like does have a value. In this scenario, it’s valuable because it makes you think critically about why your content is performing a certain way. Is this particular value measurable? Sure, you can measure anything if you give it enough time and thought. The real question should be “Is that measurement useful to me? Will it enable to me to influence my fans in a positive way or understand how and why I’m reaching my business goals?”

As for a “like” in the sense of a new fan liking your page, the “value” in any fan can vary widely from another. One fan may be a very active brand advocate who contributes to discussions, refers new fans, and makes your page a vibrant community. Another may be an influencer with a large audience (such as a popular blogger), who enjoys your products or services and occasionally shares your messaging with his audience, multiplying your reach for free. Still another fan may be a lurker who never engages with your brand and may not even see your posts in his or her newsfeed. As with any other measurement, there’s no one size fits all solution, no Holy Grail of social media ROI. You need to first understand what you want to accomplish for your business with the help of your fans, then, and only then, can you start figuring out what they’re worth to you.


Essentially, measuring the ROI of Facebook or other social channels will never be a one size fits all solution with easy numbers you plug into a formula (or an online calculator that does the math for you) and then “BAM!” you’re done. It’s a puzzle that you must solve. The value of every campaign is another puzzle within the puzzle. Others can give you hints, but it’s ultimately up to you to figure it out for yourself. It’s the perfect blend of science, art, and critical thinking. And that’s why I love it.




Editor’s note: the following is a guest post by Herman Chan.

Social media is where people immediately go to for recommendations for anything and everything, from eateries to vacation spots to even real estate. As a service-oriented business predicated on spheres of influences, social media is more relevant than ever for this industry. Real estate isall about referrals and who you know…which, if you think about it, is what social media is all about.

Information overload is what most people feel when researching real estate. It’s overwhelming the amount of data available on the internet. Some of it is junk, some of it is advertising, and a lot of it is just wrong. People are starved to get quality reliable information they can trust. So consumers gravitate to sites and communities that shared their interests and points of views. Sites like Yelp, Facebook, Branch Out, Twitter exploded because they satisfied this need. Knowing what their peers think and find interesting helps shape a consumer’s opinion. People are not looking for just info anymore, they are looking for recommendations. It’s the power of feedback. The testament of a testimonial. It helps them edit down their choices.

Real estate used to be a private transaction between a Realtor and client. However, it is increasingly now a shared social experience for a community. Open house visitors upload photos of what they saw, buyers blog about their inspection, sellers search Twitter streams for mentions of their house, agents get rated online. Today’s buyers and sellers rely heavily on social media. Yet this is lost on many of my colleagues who cling to an era when agents were the gatekeepers of info. Tsk tsk.

So, next time you interview a real estate agent, ask them:

1. What are your strategies for marketing my property?
If they just mention fliers, open houses and website, tell them this ain’t the 1990’s! If they cite social media as part of their plan, ensure they really possess the social media savoir faire to meet your needs. (ie, Posting once a month on their facebook business page doesn’t cut it. They obviously have a facebook page for the sake of having a facebook page, which is useless to you as a client).

2. How big is your social following?
If an agent has 10,000 twitter followers who hang on to their every word about real estate, that is 20,000 eyeballs on your listing. That’s more exposure than any flyer or open house will get you. One tweet to plug your home and it is on the radar of thousands of people.

3. Who follows you and how engaged are they?
Perhaps your agent’s online tribe isn’t the largest, but it may be an active targeted demographic. It’s a good sign when local businesses, past clients and even other real estate professionals are fans of a Realtor. (You can tell a lot about how engaged an agent is by reading their online chatter with other followers.) These people who have “liked” the agent’s page actively chose to read what that agent posts. They clearly expressed an interest in your agents business and want to keep tabs on their local market. With any luck, they will share/viralize your property to their sphere as well!

Bottom line: The traditionally stodgy real estate industry is finally catching on that social media can’t be ignored. An agent with strong social media savvy can command a lot of attention towards your house for sale. The more people who are aware of your listing, the more likely someone will write an offer. In this market, a seller can not afford to lose out on any marketing edge, especially when Gen X/Y and Millenials are driving the market now. And guess what, they live on social media. Select your agent representation accordingly.

Real Estate Expert Herman Chan is a videoblogger, speaker, and writer whose social media savvy has made him an authority on branding and cementing one’s online presence. Check him out on www.habitatforhermanity.com or follow him on Twitter at @hermanity.




theo http://www.scottmonty.com/2011/09/social-media-real-estate.html

What is Content Marketing?

If You’re Not Content Marketing, You’re Not Marketing

It goes by many names…let’s try to name them all. Custom publishing, custom media, customer media, customer publishing, member media, private media, branded content, corporate media, corporate publishing, corporate journalism and branded media.

Perhaps nothing says it better than content marketing. But what exactly is content marketing?

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.

And they do. Content marketing is being used by some of the greatest marketing organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and John Deere. It’s also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works.

See the best case studies and research on content marketing for free with a subscription to Chief Content Officer magazine from the Content Marketing Institute.

Consumers have simply shut off the traditional world of marketing. They own a DVR to skip television advertising, often ignore magazine advertising, and now have become so adept at online “surfing” that they can take in online information without a care for banners or buttons (making them irrelevant). Smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute, and that there has to be a better way. Thought leaders and marketing experts from around the world, including the likes of Seth Godin and hundreds of the leading thinkers in marketing have concluded that content marketing isn’t just the future, it’s the present (see the video below on the history of content marketing).

Marketing Is Impossible Without Great Content

Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove therelevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and the other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.” Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable (can you say spam?). That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day. Good content marketing makes a person stop… read… think… behave… differently.

According to the Roper Public Affairs, 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. 70% say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company, while 60% say that company content helps them make better product decisions. Think of this – what if your customer looked forward to receiving your marketing? What if when they received it, via print, email, website, they spent 15, 30, 45 minutes with it? (See all the latest content marketing research here.)

Yes, you really can create marketing that is anticipated and truly makes a connection! You can develop and execute “sales” messages that are needed, even requested, by your customers. Content marketing is a far cry from the interruption marketing we are bombarded with every minute of every day. Now that is marketing for the present and the future.

Intrigued? Do you buy in? If so, take the next step by reviewing the full resources of the Content Marketing Institute, which will answer just about every question you have about how content, marketing correctly, which can change your business, and your customers, for the better.


theo http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/


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